The Problem: Joan contacted a psychologist to help with her daughter's homework problems. She was a successful professional mom. She reported that her daughter Susie was experiencing academic and behavior problems. Joan was beside herself and didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t concentrate at work and she felt her job was suffering. When she called for a Psychological Assessment she reported that Susie was experiencing academic problems, and was not doing well in school. She was also exhibiting behavior problems and was becoming argumentative and difficult to manage. Joan wondered if Susie had a Learning Disability and whether this was contributing to the problem.
The Psychological Assessment: The assessment indicated that the problem related specifically to Susie’s homwork, and Joan’s involvement in it. Susie was doing fine in school, although not as well as her brother,or as well as her mother had hoped. However, she was getting strong Bs, and a few As and Cs.
Joan suffered from depression and, as the assessment revealed, she was applying the traits and beliefs that are symptomatic of depression to her interactions with Susie during homework. These included a negative mind set or a tendency to perceive things as worse than they are, as well as perfectionism.
Solutions and Outcomes: The assessment results helped Joan increase her understanding of the problem, and how she was contributing to it. The assessment findings led to practical, effective solutions to help her address her concerns. Joan was encouraged to focus on where things were working or going well, and what she was already doing right.
There were times when homework was not a problem and when she applied effective strategies to help her daughter. With encouragement Joan zeroed in on what was different about these times. She focused on what worked and what she needed to do more of to create a positive homework environment.
Together we developed a plan that she was able to implement to turn things around. Homework is no longer a battle of wills between mother and daughter or the emotionally stressful situation it once was.
There are numerous causes of homework problems. Frequently the Psychological Assessment indicates that the child has a Learning Disability that is contributing to his/her difficulties completing homework successfully and within acceptable time limits.
"Understanding the problem is the key to solving it." Dr. O'Connor offers Psychological
Assessments to help "get to the root of child problems" , and find evidence based interventions to address them.
The Psychological Assessment increases understanding of child problems and how to help. .
Find out where things are going well and how you can help?
Dr. O'Connor runs her practice, in Toronto (Yonge & St.Clair.)
She can be reached at 416-592-0838.
You can also contact Dr. O'Connor by email.
Dr. O'Connor is the author of I Can Be Me-A Helping Book for Children of Alcoholic Parents.